25-Minute Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta

by Ella

In the realm of gastronomy, few dishes capture the essence of indulgence and comfort quite like Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta. This harmonious marriage of succulent shrimp, aromatic garlic, velvety butter, and perfectly cooked pasta transcends mere sustenance, elevating dining experiences to a realm of culinary excellence. In this comprehensive exploration, we delve into the intricate nuances of crafting this iconic dish, from the selection of ingredients to the art of achieving the perfect balance of flavors and textures. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or an aspiring home cook, this article will guide you on a captivating journey through the creation of Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta.

Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta

Indulge in the delightful combination of succulent shrimp, aromatic garlic, rich butter, and perfectly cooked pasta with this mouthwatering Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta recipe. This dish offers a harmonious blend of flavors and textures, making it a favorite for both weeknight dinners and special occasions.
Prep Time5 minutes
Active Time20 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Yield: 1
Cost: $4


  • 1 skillet or pan
  • 1 plate


  • 8 oz linguine or spaghetti

    - 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    - 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

    - Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional) (225g)

  • 1 lb large shrimp (450g) peeled and deveined
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for a hint of heat)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)


  • Cook the Pasta: Begin by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine or spaghetti and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Prepare the Shrimp: While the pasta is cooking, pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
  • Sauté the Shrimp: In a large skillet or pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp in a single layer, ensuring they are not overcrowded. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until they turn pink and opaque. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
  • Sauté the Garlic and Butter: In the same skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes (if using). Sauté for about 1 minute until the garlic becomes fragrant, being careful not to let it brown.
  • Combine the Pasta and Shrimp: Return the cooked shrimp to the skillet with the garlic butter. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet as well.
  • Season and Finish: Drizzle the fresh lemon juice over the pasta and shrimp. Toss everything together to coat the pasta with the garlic butter sauce. Season with additional salt and black pepper to taste.

Serve and Enjoy:

Divide the Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta among serving plates. Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley over each plate for a burst of color and freshness. If desired, offer grated Parmesan cheese on the side for diners to add according to their taste.


Serve the Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta immediately while it’s still warm. The combination of tender shrimp, fragrant garlic, and buttery pasta is sure to tantalize your taste buds.


What type of shrimp is best for Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta?

When it comes to crafting the perfect Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta, the choice of shrimp plays a crucial role in achieving a harmonious and flavorful dish. The best type of shrimp for this recipe is large, peeled, and deveined shrimp. Here’s why:


1. Size Matters: Larger shrimp provide a satisfying and substantial bite, complementing the texture of the pasta. Their size also allows for a more even cooking process, ensuring that the shrimp are tender and cooked through without becoming overdone.


2. Texture and Sweetness: Large shrimp tend to have a sweeter and more delicate flavor profile compared to smaller shrimp. This sweetness pairs beautifully with the rich and savory notes of the garlic butter sauce, creating a well-balanced and delicious dish.

3. Cooking Consistency: Larger shrimp are less likely to become tough or rubbery during the cooking process. They can withstand the heat of sautéing without losing their tenderness.

4. Absorption of Flavors: The larger surface area of large shrimp allows them to absorb the flavors of the garlic butter sauce more effectively, resulting in a more flavorful and satisfying eating experience.

When purchasing shrimp for Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta, consider whether you want wild-caught or farm-raised shrimp. Both options can work well, but ensure that the shrimp are fresh or properly frozen to preserve their quality. Ultimately, the choice of shrimp is integral to achieving the desired taste, texture, and presentation of this iconic dish.

See Also: How to Cook Frozen Shrimp & 10 Recipes!

How do I know when the shrimp are cooked?

Knowing when shrimp are cooked to perfection is essential to achieving the ideal texture and flavor in your dishes. Shrimp cook quickly and can become overcooked if not monitored closely. Here are some visual and textural cues to help you determine when shrimp are cooked:

1. Color Change: Raw shrimp are grayish-blue or grayish-green in color. As they cook, they undergo a transformation and turn pink and opaque. This color change is a clear indicator that the shrimp are cooked.

2. C-Shape: Shrimp naturally curl into a “C” shape. As they cook, the flesh contracts, and the shrimp curl tighter. Once the shrimp have curled into a tight “C” shape, they are likely done cooking.

3. Texture: Properly cooked shrimp should be firm to the touch but still slightly springy. They should not feel mushy or rubbery. Overcooked shrimp tend to be tough and chewy, so be cautious not to leave them on the heat for too long.

4. Time: Shrimp cook quickly—usually within 2-3 minutes per side, depending on the size of the shrimp and the cooking method. Keep a close eye on them to prevent overcooking.

5. Cut Test: If you’re unsure whether the shrimp are cooked, you can perform a small cut test. Cut into the thickest part of a shrimp and examine the interior. It should be opaque and no longer translucent.

Can I use a different type of pasta?

Absolutely, you can experiment with different types of pasta when making Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta. While traditional recipes often call for linguine or spaghetti, the world of pasta offers a diverse range of shapes and sizes that can bring unique textures and visual appeal to your dish. Here are some alternative pasta options that you can consider using:

1. Fettuccine: Fettuccine, with its broad and flat ribbons, offers a luxurious and hearty base for the garlic butter sauce. Its wide surface area allows the sauce to cling to the pasta, creating a delightful flavor experience.

2. Penne: Penne’s cylindrical shape with diagonal cuts provides a playful contrast to the delicate shrimp and complements the rich garlic butter sauce. The ridges on penne help catch and hold the sauce for a satisfying bite.

3. Angel Hair: If you prefer a lighter and more delicate pasta, angel hair (capellini) is a thin and delicate option. Its fine strands create an ethereal texture that allows the flavors of the shrimp and sauce to shine.

4. Linguine: Linguine is a classic choice similar to spaghetti but slightly wider. It strikes a balance between the elegance of spaghetti and the heartiness of fettuccine, making it a versatile option for Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta.

5. Pappardelle: Pappardelle’s broad and flat noodles bring a rustic elegance to the dish. They have a substantial presence that pairs well with the richness of the shrimp and buttery sauce.

6. Farfalle (Bow Tie): The whimsical shape of farfalle adds visual interest to your dish. The nooks and crannies of each bow tie capture the sauce, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.

7. Rigatoni: Rigatoni’s large and ridged tubes offer a delightful textural contrast to the tender shrimp. The ridges help trap the garlic butter sauce for a satisfying burst of flavor in every bite.

8. Orecchiette: Orecchiette, resembling small ears, has a unique shape that can hold bits of shrimp and sauce, creating a delightful mosaic of flavors.

9. Cavatappi: Cavatappi’s spiral shape adds a playful touch to your Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta. The nooks and crannies of the pasta hold the sauce, ensuring a delightful taste in every forkful.

When selecting a different type of pasta, consider how its shape and texture will interact with the garlic butter sauce and shrimp. Different pastas may require slightly adjusted cooking times, so be sure to follow the package instructions for al dente perfection.

See Also: 5 Delicious Pasta Recipes for Every Palate


The journey through the creation of Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta serves as a testament to the transformative power of culinary exploration. This dish, steeped in tradition yet open to interpretation, embodies the essence of gastronomy as both a science and an art. As aspiring chefs and seasoned gourmands embark on this culinary odyssey, they forge a connection with the alchemical process of blending ingredients, technique, and passion into a symphony that resonates on the palate and in the heart. In the realm of Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta, every plate becomes a canvas, every forkful an act of creation—a testimony to the enduring magic of the culinary craft.



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